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Champions League Team of the Week - Riyad Mahrez, N'Golo Kante, Phil Foden

UCL Team of the Week - Mahrez, Kante, Foden
© Reuters
Sports Mole selects its Champions League team of the week for the semi-final second legs, including Riyad Mahrez, N'Golo Kante and Phil Foden.

Manchester City and Chelsea set up the second all-English Champions League final in the space of three years with commanding victories over Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid respectively.

Both Premier League clubs ran out 2-0 winners in their second legs, with Man City overcoming Paris Saint-Germain to seal a 4-1 aggregate triumph.

Chelsea, meanwhile, ran out 3-1 winners on aggregate, and could have had more as they swept 13-time champions Real Madrid aside at Stamford Bridge.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Champions League team of the week for the semi-final second legs.


Manchester City's Ruben Dias and John Stones celebrate after the match on May 4, 2021© Reuters

Despite the dominant displays of their respective teams, the goalkeepers of both finalists played an important role in booking their place in Istanbul and either of them could have got the gloves in this XI.

Ederson did not have a save to make against PSG - thanks largely to the performances of those in front of him - but did play an integral role in the opening goal with a trademark 70-yard pass forward which split open the visitors' defence.

He is just edged out to a place in this team by Edouard Mendy, though, as a result of the Chelsea keeper's five saves - a couple of which were particularly good ones to deny Madrid an away goal. The clean sheet was Mendy's eighth in the Champions League this season - the most ever by a goalkeeper for an English club in a single campaign.

The entire Chelsea defence could have also made it into this week's team having kept Madrid at arm's length, but instead it is an all-Man City back four following their titanic performance against PSG.

To deny the free-scoring French champions a single shot on target is some feat, and it took some heroic blocks from Ruben Dias in particular to protect Ederson's goal.

Man City were in control of the contest on the whole, but when they were required to defend it was a job they did expertly, with John Stones an able partner of Dias at the heart of the defence.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kyle Walker also played a major role in that defensive effort, in addition to having an impact at the other end of the field, particularly Zinchenko for the opening goal.


Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez scores their second goal against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on May 4, 2021© Reuters

Man City were excellent to a man against PSG and three or four of their players could have easily won man of the match, among them Fernandinho, who rolled back the years on his 36th birthday with a stunning display in the middle of the park.

It would take something special for the Brazilian's performance to be bettered, but N'Golo Kante arguably achieved that with an all-action display of his own for Chelsea against Madrid a day later.

Kante utterly dominated the midfield, breaking up play and launching attacks, and it was his driving runs forward which ultimately led to both of Chelsea's goals on the night.

Jorginho and Mason Mount also deserve mentions for their roles in that win, but Kai Havertz is the only other Chelsea man to make it into the midfield, dropping slightly deeper than the centre-forward role he has taken up in recent weeks.

The German will wonder quite how he did not get on the scoresheet having hit the bar twice, but he still managed to produce one of his best Chelsea performances yet in one of the biggest games of his career.

Man City provide both wide players, and despite Christian Pulisic coming off the bench to register an assist for Chelsea, they were quite easy selections too.

Riyad Mahrez stole the headlines with both goals for his side, further underlining his status as one of the treble-chasers' most important players this season.

Mahrez's second goal was laid on a plate for him by the brilliant Phil Foden, who also hit the post himself in a display which again proved that he is perfectly at home on the biggest stage despite his tender years.

Indeed, Foden's assist means that he is the first Man City player to reach double figures for both goals (14) and assists (10) in all competitions this season - and only the sixth Premier League player to do so.


Chelsea's Timo Werner celebrates scoring against Real Madrid in the Champions League on May 5, 2021© Reuters

Like Havertz, Timo Werner has not always had the easiest of times in his debut Chelsea season, but he produced a vital goal when his side needed him most with the opener against Madrid.

Werner had earlier seen a goal chalked off for offside, before proving sharper than the Madrid defence by following up on Havertz's chip to nod into an empty net from point-blank range when it came back off the crossbar.

The goal was Werner's first from open play in his last 17 Champions League appearances and sees him lead the line in our XI this week.



Sports Mole's Champions League Team of the Week (4-2-3-1): Mendy; Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Kante, Fernandinho; Mahrez, Havertz, Foden; Werner

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Karim Benzema celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Chelsea in the Champions League on April 27, 2021
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